We all volunteered dozens of hours to meet the community service component of the dental school application, and we said we looked forward to making the world a better place after graduation. Yet only 43% of American dentists accept Medicaid or the CHIP platforms designed to serve low-income populations in America.
With Advocacy Month coming to an end and advocacy engagement high, it is important to recognize how we can continue this momentum to create change year-round. When dental students across the nation work together to advocate for key issues, their united voice makes a difference.
ASDA’s Annual Session in 2020 inspired me to take a more active interest in advocacy. At Annual Session, I saw students legislating and taking action that would directly impact thousands of dental students. This proved the significant impact we as students could have, and I hoped that I could use my experiences to create new events for Houston ASDA’s members that would inspire them as well.
You never hear anyone in dental school utter the words, “I’m bored.” If anything, there is too much to do and too little time to do it. However, there are students who somehow find time to give back to those who are less fortunate, even with everything else going on in their lives.
The United States declared a nationwide state of emergency mid-March as a result of the global pandemic that still affects us today. At Harvard, a delicate balancing act of ensuring the safety of all community members while optimizing education and patient care began.
Sonali Lallu and Hilary Wong have been committed to ASDA and learning about their future careers throughout their undergrad studies. Here, they discuss how predentals and rising D1s can get involved and why advocacy is important to students at all levels.
Words have the power to invoke a feeling, relive a memory and inspire change. In advocacy, the rhetoric we choose can make or break the conversations you’re having. To lobby is to converse with people in power and persuade them to enact change. Using the aspects of rhetoric can enhance our advocacy and lobby efforts.